Dependency theory holds that the condition of underdevelopment is precisely the result of the incorporation of the Third World economies into the capitalist world system which is dominated by the West and North, hence in development studies, dependency implies a situation in which a particular country or region relies on another for support, “survival” and growth. The third world countries are the economically underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America, considered as an entity with common characteristics, such as poverty, high birth-rates, and economic dependence on the advanced countries. The term therefore implies that the third world is exploited, and that its destiny is a revolutionary one. Distinctively, the underdevelopment of the third world is marked by a number of common traits, distorted and highly dependent economies devoted to producing primary products for the developed world and to provide markets for their finished goods, traditional, rural social structures, high population growth, and widespread of poverty. This essay will discuss the two theories which are dependency theory as well as the modernisation theory, and also discuss how Europe underdeveloped Africa.
Hays (2001) defines dependency as an explanation of the economic development of a state in terms of the external influences political, economic, and cultural on national development. Theotonio (2000) states that dependency theory is an historical condition which shapes a certain structure of the world economy such that it favours some countries to the detriment of others and limits the development possibilities of the subordinate economics, it is also defined as a situation in which the economy of a certain group of countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy, to which their own is subjected (Ferraro, 2008). A more direct challenge to the modernisation theory emerged in the 1960’s and 1970’s in the form of the dependency theory. This theory owes its origin to the writings of Baran (1957), Prebisch (1971) and Frank (1971). Drawing on the notion of inequality between the industrial nations and the non-industrial world, dependency theory refers to the former as the “core” and the latter as the “periphery.” Contrary to modernisation theory, dependency theory views development from the perspective of the impact of exogenous forces on the periphery. In the dependency theory, capitalism is understood as a world system that contains an inherent core-periphery duality or “metropolis-satellite” concept (Smith, 2005) that determines the developmental potentialities of different countries. Dependency is defined as a “situation in which a certain number of countries have their economy conditioned by the development and expansion of another” (Emeh, 2012). Thus, the possibility of development is determined by the relationship of exploitation that exists between the “core and periphery.” The...